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Landscape systems

Through the study of one landscape system chosen from drylands, coastal or glaciated landscapes, this core theme requires students to undertake an integrated study of earth surface processes, landforms and resultant landscapes. The spatial scale in this theme is fundamentally at the local level. However, to encourage students to move beyond the local to global, study is not limited to the UK. A range of temporal scales must be observed too, such as processes that take millions of years as well as those that take seconds.

The content is framed within a systems context. Students should study the variety of geomorphological processes and the varying flows of energy and materials operating within a landscape system, which combine to create distinctive landforms and landscapes. An understanding of external factors which can affect the system must be acquired, such as the impact of human activity, climate change or human landscape management. There is an opportunity for quantitative approaches including observation, measurement and geo-spatial mapping, together with data manipulation and statistical skills applied to field measurement.

Resources to support landscape systems

This section provides some practical teaching ideas and resources to help teach landscape systems. To access the full range of online Post-16 teaching resources from the GA, visit our Teaching Resources section. To access our A level publications, visit the GA online shop.

Landscape systems: journal article bundle (Geography)

Five articles from Geography offering subject knowledge for teachers on landscape systems.

Landscape systems: article bundle (Geography Matters)

Three articles from Geography Matters addressing urban living in the Middle East, Australian drought and developing coastal fieldwork.

Landscape systems: journal article bundle (Teaching Geography)

Five articles from Teaching Geography written for students across the secondary phase and offer useful advice and guidance for teaching the ‘Landscape systems’ theme for the 2016 geography A level.

The impact of the 2013-14 storms on coastal geomorphology in SW England

A series of videos featuring Professor Gerd Masselink, aimed at GCSE, A level and university students.

Geo hazards GA teacher CPD materials (2013).

Research material for hazard risk, vulnerability and patterns, drawing on the work of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) UK.

Surviving hot deserts. Teacher CPD materials from a GA Post-16 national conference, by Dr Jennifer Hill.

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